Blast from the Past . . . Two decades ago a little known metal band emerged from anonymity and shocked the world by demolishing the pop charts with its third studio recording. That band was Quiet Riot and the album was 1983's Metal Health. Anchored by the raucous cover version of Slade's "Cum On Feel The Noize", the album went multi-platinum and garnered Billboard's top slot, a feat no metal act had previously achieved. Despite massive record sales and regular MTV video airplay, Quiet Riot was never fully embraced by critics. Often viewed as absurd and cartoonish, as much for their song lyrics as for the antics of front man Kevin DuBrow, the band was ultimately unsuccessful in following up the tremendous success of Metal Health. Personal demons and inter-group acrimony eventually fractured Quiet Riot, and the ensuing years saw various incarnations of the band appear and disappear without much fanfare. The fact remains that Quiet Riot was a damn good band that really never got the respect it deserved. Not nearly as dark as Sabbath, but far ballsier than most of the metal poseurs following in their footsteps, Quiet Riot fell somewhere in between Def Leppard, Judas Priest and Motley Crue. Heavy riffs were incorporated with an overall sense of partying and fun, creating a simple template for some pretty decent music. Now, twenty years after Metal Health's release, Quiet Riot is back, showing that they still know how to kick some ass, even in middle age. Last Thursday, the brick bunker known as Don Hill's, in conjunction with New York Classic Rock radio station Q104.3 and DJ extraordinaire Eddie Trunk, presented an evening with Quiet Riot. Any doubts that the band still has what it takes to rock were quickly dispelled as fans were treated to seventy-five minutes of favorites and greatest hits. Throughout the set, Kevin DuBrow proved that he can still peel paint with his trademark shriek, while bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Frankie Banali laid down a deafening rhythm, and guitarist Carlos Cavazo demonstrated than he remains one of the unsung shredders of the '80s by tearing through his guitar parts in vintage form. The set list culled material primarily from three albums, Metal Health, Condition Critical, and Guilty Pleasures, as the show started with a terrific rendition of "Vicious Circle". "Slick Black Cadillac" and the title track from Terrified followed, leading into the band's second most popular Slade cover, "Mama Weer All Crazee Now". One quarter into the set it was obvious that the boys were having a great time being onstage together once again. The band missed nary a beat by filling the set with stellar versions of "Feel the Pain", "Sign of the Times", "Guilty Pleasures", and "Born to Rock". As the show's energy was peaking, a momentary tempo downshift occurred with the ballad "Thunderbird", although things picked back up again with "Danger Zone" and "Love's a Bitch". Having gotten the crowd sufficiently revved up, DuBrow took a break and let Cavazo steal the show with a blistering metal guitar solo that would have made Randy Rhoads proud. The final four songs gave fans nothing less than what they had come for: pure unadulterated head banging bliss. A tremendous "Psycho City" segued into "Cum On Feel the Noize" as DuBrow led the crowd sing-a-long. If this was not sufficient to keep the faithful happy, then the surprise of the night surely was: a rollicking cover of the Who's "My Generation", followed by show stopper "Bang Your Head". As the final chords reverberated off the walls, everyone in attendance knew that they'd gotten their money's worth. Shortly after leaving the stage, the band convened in the rear of the club to greet fans and sign whatever was placed in front of them. The enthusiasm of those in attendance was shared by Quiet Riot themselves; all four band members were as gracious and appreciative as one could imagine. A bit older and wiser, Quiet Riot is without question a class act, and seeing the original Metal Health line-up was a treat for all. All these years after their moment in the spotlight, the boys in Quiet Riot continue to give the finger to the music establishment by putting on a great live show. Additionally, as the proliferation of lame reunion tours continues by hair band lightweights like Poison, Skid Row and the reconstituted Whitesnake, it's apparent that Quiet Riot remains one of the few '80s metal acts worth seeing. The arena tours and platinum albums may be just a memory now, but Quiet Riot still delivers. What more could anyone ask for?
So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.
As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.
This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.
It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.
Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.
"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"
Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.
Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.
Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.
There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.
There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."